School Ski Trip
By Tim Mulligan- Second Year
The 2013 Glenstal second year ski trip was a very fun week.
19 people, as well as Felix, Aiden and Fr John met at Dublin airport, terminal 2, to depart on the early morning flight for Venice airport. The flight lasted about 2 and a half hours, with some stunning views of the landscape, including the Alps!
When we arrived in Venice, the first thing I noticed was that the land seemed very flat. It was that you could see for miles in some directions, as there was a lack of distant buildings. Once out of the airport, we caught a bus journey with a man who looked remarkably like Mario!
The bus journey lasted two hours, giving a nice view of the north Italian country side. We passed several lands that were completely deserted of features, like buildings. After a while, the terrain started to get more mountainous, and then with large snow caps! It was a little while after when we came across our first taste of snow.
It lay on the ground in smatterings, here and there, and there were a few villages that we passed. We were pretty sure that the windy mountain road we passed had featured in one episode of Top Gear! Soon there was snow all around and we came to the ski resort of Folgaria.
The bus ground to a halt outside hotel Irma, our home for the next week. When we got outside the bus, I noticed it was pretty damn cold! We got inside the hotel with our bags and were given our rooms.
Once we put our bags away, we met back in the lobby and went outside into the village. That was when we got our first taste of the upcoming freedom we were to experience. We were allowed to wander the town and get something to eat as long as we were in groups, and got back to our meeting point at the designated time. Once back, we went back to the hotel, later had dinner, and went on our first evening activity: Ice skating.
There was a small trek through the village to get to the skating rink. Once there, seven euros were paid per person and we picked out our skates.
The next morning, we went skiing. Experienced skiers went off with a different instructor, while those less experienced or new to the sport were put together. This, naturally, was the larger group. This group went with a man called Renzo. I was in this group myself, and I have to say, I was completely useless! A lot of people fell over, but I can’t help but feel that I fell more times than anyone. It was funny at first, but soon got EXTREMELY frustrating.
After the lessons, in which we learned the basics (I could NOT manage turning!), we had lunch in the nearest place to the slopes, literally five metres from the nursery slope.
After lunch, there was a few more hours skiing, not much for ME, I had to practise my turns. But the experienced group (group A) went on to bigger and better things.
I’m not going to lie, at the end of the day, I was absolutely hating the ski trip. I was very homesick and wanted to get out of Italy. However, the next day, I was falling less and less, and enjoying it more and more.
For lunch, we went to a nice pizzeria that we called “The white flag”, as there was a white flag outside. We went there for the rest of the week. After lunch, after a whole two days of trying to cope with skiing, I did my first blue slope.
I loved it. It was very easy, not that steep, a few turns, but I could do them by now. After that blue, I forgot all about the negatives and wanted to focus solely on skiing.
The rest of the week passed by in a blur, evening activities such as snowball fights, going to town, a quiz, swimming, more ice skating, and a race night with another school in the hotel, St Caimans and there was a fancy dress competition on the second last day. But all in all, the skiing was the highlight of my week, as I was hopeless at the start, but I can now say that it is my favourite activities.
Throughout the week, the hotel was very nice. The beds weren’t that bad, but getting up at 7 O’clock was, the food was satisfactory, but the drinks in the bar was ridiculously overpriced, being two euro, but sixty cent in the town!
At the end of the week, the awards were given out. There were several small awards, for which a kinder egg was rewarded, and there were three big awards, the prize for these being a champagne-styled bottle of fizzy apple juice AND a kinder egg.
Smaller awards included things such as “best fall”(Sean Hammond), “winning group in the quiz” (the Camel’s Toe group), and “best skid” (Darren Halpenny) competition for Ice skating.
Large awards were “most improved skier”,(Me) “fancy dress competition award” (Tom Kinahen), and “MVP (most valuable person)”(Charlie Murphy), award.
When the “most improved skier” award was being announced, Felix was mentioning everyone who sucked at the start, BUT me, and I had a suspicion who won.
The morning after the prize-giving, We woke up extra early, around 6 O’clock, and had breakfast at about half past. We said goodbye to our super amazing waiter, Fabio, and got on the bus waiting outside, which was a break from the freezing early morning air.
Back at the airport, we boarded the plane and started he long plane journey home. Many people slept on the bus or bus, or plane, but I personally didn’t sleep a wink.
We arrived back at Dublin, and it looked SO different, so much less snow!
I have to say that I absolutely, 100% enjoyed the ski trip in the end. To anyone who could go on it in the future, I would seriously recommend it. Even if it doesn’t sound to appealing, Skiing is one of those things you will always enjoy when you get used to it.